Spring Trees by the Virgin River in Zion

Painting sun struck trees before a red rock canyon wall was a fun challenge...if at first I don't succeed, get out the 4" house painting brush, brush off all the pastel and try, try again!

 

watercolor under painting on 12 x 16 UART 400

watercolor under painting on 12 x 16 UART 400

Begin adding the dark value pastels

Begin adding the dark value pastels

blocking in the main shapes....not too happy with this.

blocking in the main shapes....not too happy with this.

Brush off the pastel  and start again.

Brush off the pastel  and start again.

I moved and enlarged some of the foreground shapes and blocked in more subtle colors and values in the rock wall

I moved and enlarged some of the foreground shapes and blocked in more subtle colors and values in the rock wall

Much better!  But I will live with it for a couple of days to see what else needs work.

Much better!  But I will live with it for a couple of days to see what else needs work.

Grand Canyon in pastel

I'm getting ready to paint in Zion and need to ensure I pack just the right pastels, so I am painting from some 2014 reference photos.

 

Using a recycled 9 x 12 piece of Uart sanded pastel paper I draw in the major shapes with charcoal.

Using a recycled 9 x 12 piece of Uart sanded pastel paper I draw in the major shapes with charcoal.

Blocking in the major shapes.

Blocking in the major shapes.

Breaking the large shapes adding highlights.

Breaking the large shapes adding highlights.

I hope this image allows you to feel the heat pulsing off the rock cliffs as well as the cool green river - incredible drifting silence.

I hope this image allows you to feel the heat pulsing off the rock cliffs as well as the cool green river - incredible drifting silence.

Mount Shuksan before Picture Lake a cooperative commissioned painting

Here is the fabulous reference photograph that my friend Laura Mackenzie took.

I chose to do the painting on a half sheet of 300# Arches watercolor paper.
I drew a simple line drawing indicating the big shapes.

I laid in the initial watercolor washes.

In the next painting session I added more watercolor to the under painting.

I laid in the pastel in the mountain and began adding the initial passes of dark pastel in the trees.


Some middle values added with pastels

The final painting after adjusting some details in the mountain and water.  
Finally, I added my signature as well as the name of the photographer Laura Mackenzie.


Swinomish Channel

A simple line drawing just "eyeballing" the elements from a reference photo.

First watercolor wash over the whole page.

Darkening the mountains and the walls of the house.

The dark and medium washes; trying different colors of the same value in the large tree.

Darkening the values of the mountains and the house....then (gasp) I noticed that the house was too large and prominent, so I repainted the large shrub.  I darkened the value of the brown wall to black.

And then, "presto change-o" I added pastel over the watercolor primarily on the left side of the painting; leaving the watercolor washes in the sky,  most of the water, and the mountains untouched.  I may darken the house yet again to get it to 'sit back' in the tree shadow better.
There are three man made elements (the house, the pilings, and the two poles in front of the mountains) that pull the left side of the brain through the painting.  There are repeated color elements (blue house, blue mountains, blue water) that pull the right side of the brain around the painting.  I hope you enjoy painting Swinomish Channel as I did!


Swinomish Channel

A simple line drawing just "eyeballing" the elements from a reference photo.

First watercolor wash over the whole page.

Darkening the mountains and the walls of the house.

The dark and medium washes; trying different colors of the same value in the large tree.

Darkening the values of the mountains and the house....then (gasp) I noticed that the house was too large and prominent, so I repainted the large shrub.  I darkened the value of the brown wall to black.

And then, "presto change-o" I added pastel over the watercolor primarily on the left side of the painting; leaving the watercolor washes in the sky,  most of the water, and the mountains untouched.  I may darken the house yet again to get it to 'sit back' in the tree shadow better.
There are three man made elements (the house, the pilings, and the two poles in front of the mountains) that pull the left side of the brain through the painting.  There are repeated color elements (blue house, blue mountains, blue water) that pull the right side of the brain around the painting.  I hope you enjoy painting Swinomish Channel as I did!


Seed Heads in the Sunlight

A simple drawing of a local Sequim barn on Bell Bottom Road.

The two tone sky in a light wash.

premixed colors


Added the mountains and the dark, muted field grasses.

Painting large, variegated pieces of the barn.

Darkening and adding shapes to the foreground and adding details to the barn.

Adding vibrant trees behind the barn; started with raw umber and dropped in green and burnt sienna.

- and now the pastel -

Seed heads in the shade.


Seed heads in the sunlight!  I love to read comments.....so, leave one please.